I don’t know about you but when someone points something out you start to notice it more. In Godspace for this season they are talking about Finding Beauty in Ashes during the Lenten season and so when I went on my walk yesterday I was drawn to noticing beauty in ashes.
This tree was one of three conifer trees that were standing in a row until Storm Arwen passed by towards the end of 2021. All three went down. I presume that the furthest one fell and then pushed the other two over with the force of its falling and the wind behind it. How often does that happen – that something or someone starts to slide and takes others down with them who are close by? Also with trees, their roots are intertwined so they can communicate with each other so all it needs is one lot of roots to come out and they will take others with them. Again another interesting comparison with our lives. Though also people or trees standing strong can help to keep each other up when storms come.
What fascinates me here is the little beetle hole in the centre of the tree. Now this would not have been visible when all the trees were standing and can only be fully seen because of where the chain saw has passed through. I’m not a naturalist so could not tell you what creature lived there and is now homeless but I can see something was there. And to me that is the beauty.
The beauty is the amazingness of this creature to burrow through the bark, find the right spot and make its home. But we can only get to see it because of the storm.
I wonder how often beauty is hidden or that we are too busy rushing on past to notice. I only noticed this because I was on a “writing walk” which means that I walk slower, notice things, jot them in my notebook, and like with this, photograph them. Generally I am rushing on past with collar turned up to get back home again.
I believe that too often we can only find beauty in ashes if we slow down and take the time to look at the ashes. And like with our hurts and things that have happened to us, we do only see the beauty in the pain, the hurt, the ashes, if we take time to look closely, to look properly. To have time and not to be rushing on to the next thing, to be not trying to hide from the “ashes” but to just see the beauty and be grateful.
In this season of Lent, Wonder can be a healthy tool of contemplation, leading from heaviness to light. Find a prayer focus with this bundle – combining the Gift of Wonder book with the Gift of Wonder prayer cards. Click here for more info!